Rumors at Dinner
It has been some time since Rood left them alone. Rood wonders how Lidusis and Chevel are doing. Hopefully, those two are getting along just fine with each other. Rood did leave them alone for that sole reason.
Making sure to remind Lidusis that it almost dinner time, Rood opens the door to their room. Naturally, Dio, Lapis, and Linus were with him whether he wanted them there or not. Linus as usual was clinging on him. This time just his arm.
I wonder if those two are getting along... Knowing how much a good natured person Lidusis was to fault, Rood could safely assume that they were doing just fine.
"Lidusis, it's time for..." Pausing midway of his sentence, Rood received the shock of his life.
He knew he wanted them to get closer.
But not this close?!
As soon as he opened the door, the first sight Rood caught was a half naked Chevel wearing only a towel around his waist pinning Lidusis whose clothes were in a mess like someone was just removing them on the bed where Chevel's uniform was scattered all around the bed for some reason. And strangely enough, one of Chevel's hands was on Lidusis's half opened chest. Lidusis looked like his clothes were being forcibly removed from.
A long awkward silence fills the atmosphere.
"Uhm, sorry for the intrusion."
"Wait, it's not what you think?!" Chevel pleaded not wanting to cause a misunderstanding.
However it was too late as Rood had already closed the door and left along with the three other spectators.
Elsewhere in the inn, Van had never felt so relieved in his entire life. He was so thankful that nothing had happened. He takes his eyes off Shicmuon for one moment and the latter already goes off who knows where chasing after a little boy.
"I don't know how to thank you. I'm so glad you found him." Van thanks a mint haired young man for finding Shicmuon and taking him back to the inn.
"No, it was just coincidence." The young man politely clarified. "I just happened to run into him. I heard there were students coming over for a training camp so I assumed he was one of the students. It is quite dangerous in the woods especially at night. The animals are restless because of all of the poaching lately. If something happened while I was around, I would get scolded."
The young man lightly laughed while scratching the back of head.
Van really was thank he found Shicmuon before anything happened. Knowing him, Van wouldn't put it past Shicmuon to burn a portion of the land and make a barbecue out of the animals. If that did happen, they wouldn't be simply let off with getting kicked out of Xatyre.
The Association's name is already in the gutter because of Shicmuon. They don't need it getting any worse than it already it.
"I'm just glad that nothing happened." Van was relieved that Shicmuon didn't kill the guy.
"... I... I wouldn't exactly say that." The man said with a smile although the tone in his voice said otherwise.
What was that pause? It couldn't be that his partner did something after all. Van wasn't sure if he should inquire any further.
After much begging and pleading, Rood and the others reluctantly complied with Chevel's wishes of hearing him out. Naturally, they held their discussion after Chevel put on some clothes. Apparently, Lidusis went out earlier while they were gone and went to Chevel's room to get his spare uniform.
Honestly, Rood never would have thought that Chevel swung that way. While it is true Rood wanted to help them mend their relationship, but he didn't think they'd take to that kind of stage.
The awkward silence between both parties made it harder either side to say anything as each second passes by.
"Uhm..." Rood was the first one who had the guts to say anything. "... Congrats on making up..."
Rood wasn't sure how to put this delicately.
"It's not what you think?!"
"It's okay. I'm not being prejudice or anything."
"Wait, you've got the wrong idea?!"
"Yeah, it's probably one of those cliche misunderstandings where you happened to get in that position by accident." Rood said sounding like he had accepted that it was a misunderstanding except that his eyes didn't exactly match his words.
It was clear that the fact that Rood had not believed him was evident in Rood's eyes. From the beginning, he had been avoiding eye contact with both Chevel and Lidusis averting his eyes to the side.
"I-I'm sure you two will do just fine. W-We won't tell anyone or something..." Dio wasn't sure what else to say in this awkward situation.
This was bad everyone was going to misunderstand. Chevel needed to think up something before things get worse.
"Whoa, Chevel. I never knew you swung that way." Contrary to Rood and Dio's reactions, Linus was more surprised. "Since you're with Rood-nim's friend, that means you won't be after him. But even if you are, I won't hand over Rood-nim to you or anyone else."
Linus continues hugging Rood as he made his childish declaration like a child not willing to share his favorite toy.
"I don't care what your preferences are or what you do with your lover! But do mind where you are!" Lapis was more so mad than disgusted with Chevel. "This room is shared if you hadn't noticed! Anyone could walk in at any given moment!"
Lapis did not want to be a room where two men were doing unspeakable things that would change the rating of this series. Who wouldn't?
But that's not what got Lapis riled up.
"And by far the most unforgivable thing you have done was show this poor, innocent child such obscenity." Lapis could not forgive Chevel for making Rood see such an indecent scene and with his own friend no less. He bets that the poor child is traumatized by the mind bottling scene.
"How many times do I have to get through your thick skull... It's a misunderstanding, you Eternal Idun." Chevel sends hostile waves of energy at Lapis who returned the favor likewise.
Those two never change. Still on bad terms with each other.
"Is that true, Lidusis?" Deciding it was time to confirm whether or not it was really a misunderstanding or real, Rood turns to face Lidusis and asks him. He wasn't sure about Chevel, but he doubts Lidusis would attempt to do anything obscene.
Lidusis meekly nods his head.
"Hm, I guess he was telling the truth after all." Rood finally believes Chevel's words.
"That's a relief. I was worried about Lord Artian there for a second."
"If Rood-nim says so..."
"Even so, he still soiled the eyes of a child with such an unpleasant scene."
"Wait, a minute?!" Although he was glad that they finally managed to get past the misunderstanding, it didn't sit well with him how they calmly accepted Lidusis's word over his. "How come you believe him but not me when I've been telling you that from the very beginning?!"
Honestly speaking, the four of them weren't sure if they should tell him or not.
However their silent reply was worse than actually coming up front.
"Between Lidusis and an ex-bully, I'd choose Lidusis."
Rood's blunt words stab Chevel right in the heart.
"Same here. It's hard to believe the words of a bully." Dio too agreed with Rood.
Yet another stab.
"Because of Chevel's bullying ways, your credibility doesn't really amount to much."
"As if, there's anyone who'd trust the words of bully like you. You reap what you sow."
*STAB* *STAB* *STAB*
Linus and Lapis's comments only added more wounds to Chevel's heart.
Chevel has mix feeling about this.
Although he was glad that they were finally believing him... For some reason, it feels so wrong.
Flashing back to the time while Chevel and Lidusis were left alone, Chevel felt completely embarrassed so much that he couldn't look Lidusis in the eyes has he had his head facing the other direction away from Lidusis.
"If... If you trying making cookies or something again, I don't mind eating them." was what Chevel said beforehand.
What was I thinking for saying such cheesy lines?! This isn't some daytime soap opera?! Or those old, girly shoujo comics?! Chevel wanted to bang his head against the wall.
It was too late to take back his words. And worst is that Lidusis wasn't laughing at him or degrading him not that he expected Lidusis to act like that. But at the very least, he didn't think his words would move him. Now he really can't take back those words.
For a change of pace, Chevel opens up the glass door to the balcony to allow some fresh air in so that he could cool his head.
However as soon as he opened the glass door, out of nowhere, a cold stream of water hits him straight in the face soaking not just his face but his clothes as well.
What the heck was that?!
Does water just come out of nowhere and randomly hit people in Xatyre?
He wasn't sure where the water came from, but he sure wasn't going to be staying in those wet clothes any longer.
"Hey, you got a towel or something I can use?" Chevel asks Lidusis.
Not sure whether there is a towel around, Lidusis searches around the room. Sadly, the room didn't have a bathroom, but Lidusis did find a few towels along with some blankets and other stuff in the closet.
After Lidusis handed Chevel a towel, Chevel gave Lidusis his room key.
"I-I can't stay in these clothes like this forever..." Chevel stuttered avoiding eye contact with Lidusis. "So go to my room and get me an extra uniform. You'll find it in the drawer."
The stiffness in Chevel's tone wasn't really helping him.
Complying with Chevel's request despite the latter's peculiar behavior, Lidusis went to retrieve an extra set of clothes for Chevel with the keys Chevel gave him in hand. Given the directions to Chevel's room, Lidusis knew where to go.
Hearing the door close behind, Chevel falls into depression.
What am I doing? Chevel wanted to kick himself. Was that really any way of asking for a favor?!
He did want to ask Lidusis nicely. It's just that somehow the words just didn't come out nicely. It worked better in his head where he just casually asked Lidusis to help him. But when he tried it, he started getting cold feet and ended up messing up.
All right, he'll need to make up for his past mistake and politely thank Lidusis for his aid. Because if he doesn't and a certain Rood Chrishi finds out about it, Chevel might not live to see tomorrow.
Once Lidusis returned back with Chevel's spare uniform, Chevel had already finished drying himself and wrapped his lower half with one of the towels.
As Lidusis was setting down Chevel's uniform on the bed, Chevel walks over to Lidusis. Although he couldn't fix his past mistake, the very least he could do was thank Lidusis.
However, as Chevel was walking, he accidentally tripped over Dio's bag that the latter careless threw on the ground when he first entered the room in favor of jumping on the soft, fluffy bed. And unfortunately dragged Lidusis into the mess when he happened to have fell on Lidusis causing the uniform Lidusis got for him to be scattered all around.
Great, instead of thanking him, Chevel ended using the gray haired Idun as a cushion. Realizing that, Chevel proceeds to remove himself from Lidusis.
"You alr..." Chevel freezes when he notices the position he and Lidusis were currently in with him pinned over the violet eyed Idun.
This was bad if someone came in at that exact moment he wouldn't be able to live it down.
"And that's when you guys showed up." Chevel finished. Talk about bad timing. No, in Chevel's case, it was worse than that.
Despite hearing the truth from Chevel's mouth, his audience had a hard time believing him.
"What's with those looks?! I wasn't lying?! It's true?!"
Those incredulous looks in their eyes said more than enough for Chevel.
Not wanting to stay any longer and miss dinner, Rood, Dio, Linus, and Lapis bought Chevel's story... for the moment. With the others along with Chevel as an added bonus, Rood takes Lidusis to the dining hall for dinner. There they split up: one group would go get their meals while the other group would find seats. And much to Rood's chagrin, Linus forced his way into the group Rood was in while Lapis and Chevel went to find seats. Though working together for the same cause, neither one would stop bickering with the other as they continued to argue with each other like cats and dogs.
Rood, Dio, Lidusis, and Linus were given the task of bringing the meals over including Chevel and Lapis's share although Lapis was very reluctant to let Rood do such 'heavy labor' considering his 'weak body.' Chevel on the other hand cringed when Lapis suggested to take Rood's place. Oh, heaven forbid him from being left alone with the young magician. He'd rather it be Lidusis than Rood Chrishi of all people. Just the mere thought of being alone with Rood brought shivers down Chevel's spine.
Aside from the beautiful scenery and exotic wildlife, the inn they were residing in was also very accommodate. The food looked very appetizing ranging from various dishes that they had not seen in Helios to dishes out of the country. The food was served buffet style so they could get whatever dish they wanted on their tray.
Looking at the large quantity of food on Lidusis's tray, Rood could tell Lidusis was getting food not just for himself but for Chevel as well. He probably knew what Chevel liked better than him. And since Linus knew Lapis for quite some time, he was probably doing the same too.
Or so he thought...
"This looks good! I'm sure Rood-nim would like it!" Linus takes a small plate with some pickled roses. "This looks good too. This one too. Which one would better?"
Linus couldn't choose between the baby hedgehog rice ball or the cat shaped meat buns.
"Hm... I'll just take both."
For me?! Apparently, Linus prioritized Rood over his own best friend.
Those two were friends, right?
Moving on, Rood wondered if Dio was doing any better. He might not of been close to Lapis as Linus is, but the dark blue haired Idun might be considerate enough to bring him back something.
"What do you think..." Dio asked turning his attention to Rood.
The serious look on the usually bubbly and dimwitted Dio surprised Rood. It wasn't everyday he'd see that kind of look on Dio. Was something bothering him?
"... is better? This one or this one?" Dio holds up a small plate of mont blanc and another with stir fried noodles.
"Does it really matter?" Rood sweat drops. If he couldn't choose, why not just get them both? It's not that much of a big deal to fuss over.
"Of course, it does! As your best friend, it's my duty to live up to my name!"
"As your friend, it worries me when you say things like that..." Rood deadpanned.
"So Rood, which one do you think I should go with?" Dio's eyes gleam in all seriousness.
"Honestly, I think you should go get your head checked first."
Seeing as how no one else was getting Lapis's portion, Rood decided to get Lapis's share for the pitiful talentless sap. He kind of felt sorry for the guy seeing as how his own friend didn't even think of getting something for him.
But as Rood was picking out food for Lapis, he felt a slight chill. Although he couldn't see from behind, he could feel a bunch of intense gazes at him.
Rood's feeling was proven right as there were people staring at the child.
Unbeknownst to him, the students around him were stealing glances at Rood and a majority of them being male to add.
The stares continued on even as Rood was walking to the empty table Chevel and Lapis were at. Not surprising that the two were bickering like cats and dogs.
For Lidusis's sake, Rood has Lidusis sit next to Chevel who was reluctant at first but soon shut up and accepted the situation after a single look from Rood. Originally, Rood wanted to sit next to Lidusis.
"Rood-nim, sit next to me!"
"Rood, you always favor Lord Artian! Try sitting next to me for once!"
But got caught between Linus and Dio who both wanted to sit next to him.
"Wait, can't you see that you're only troubling him." Lapis interjected. "Anyways, he should be sitting next to his Big Brother instead."
Lapis only added fuel to the fire when he joined in saying it was his duty as a big brother to look after Rood's health. He was so happy when Rood gave him his dinner. Not once had he ever received such a thoughtful gift before especially not from Linus.
This continued on for a while until they met with a compromise: Linus on Rood's right, Dio on Rood's left, and Lapis in front of Linus. Lapis wanted to at least sit in front of Rood, but sadly that spot was reserved for Lidusis.
"Rood-nim, try this delicious tempura!"
"No, Rood try this! This is a local dish found only here."
"You must be hungry. Let Big Brother feed you."
Rood wondered if this was how a kid felt being forced to eat by his family. In Rood's case, this was down right annoying. He could eat by himself. Plus, he couldn't possibly eat all that food in the first place.
But it was strange how people were whispering around them. Just was it that they being so secretive about?
When Rood turned around after noticing some stares at him, everyone immediately turned away. He didn't get what they were acting so worked up over.
"Everyone seems kind of restless." Dio wondered what was going on.
"Really?" Aside from Rood, Linus pretty much didn't have any interest in other people so he was oblivious to their surroundings since his mind was preoccupied with the thoughts of eating with Rood.
"While you guys were gone, I heard the others talking about some really cute girl. Some students saw a girl they hadn't seen before. And although they couldn't see her face, they could tell that she was a real beauty." Lapis explained what he heard from the gossiping students around him. "A few students happened to see her face and were stunned by her beauty, but there was one problem though. According to the rumors, she was seen clinging to this snobby guy."
Lapis points to Chevel.
Rood almost choked on his water when he heard that.
"So not only are you a problem student, but also a playboy. How disgusting..."
"Quiet, Eternal Idun." Chevel barked back. "In the first place, I wasn't even with any girls today. The only one who was clinging onto me was Ro..."
Chevel's face pales when he slowly realizes the truth behind the rumors.
Soon afterwards, the whole table got quiet all of a sudden.